Skip to content

Attachment Theory: How Children Learn What to Expect from Relationships

This course is also available as part of a bundle.


Course overview

This five-hour, online course introduces the fundamental principles of attachment theory – exploring how the dynamics of early relationships can influence how children interact with the world in later life, and can impact on their development and resilience.

This course will be published later this month – register your interest below to be the first to hear when it’s available to book!


Course aims

Focusing on John Bowlby’s seminal attachment theory, this course explores how children’s innate ability to adapt to their surroundings can lead to both short-term gains and long-term costs – forming behavioural patterns that are ingrained in the mind, brain and body. Presenting the key ideas that form the basis of attachment theory alongside relevant case examples, the course provides valuable insights into the enduring impact of early relationships, which can help to inform your own interactions with children and young people.


How will you learn?

  • Explore key concepts through interactive lecture content and videos
  • Deepen your understanding via regular opportunities for reflection
  • Consider case examples to help apply the theory to your work
  • Test your knowledge with a quiz, and unlock a certificate

Course topics

This course will allow you to:

  • Identify the positive benefits of “healthily stressful” experiences, which can build resilience, as well as empathic, attuned parenting, and the ability to reflect on mental states
  • Learn what happens when early experiences are too stressful, and how adaptive coping strategies can become unhelpful defences in the longer term
  • Gain an understanding of the four main kinds of attachment relationship, how these attachment styles form, and why – with reference to a number of key studies
  • Examine the role of attachment in personality development, and the link between attachment patterns and states of mind

Who is this course for?

We welcome anyone to this course who has a keen interest in the subject area. In particular, this course is for you if work with children and families and wish to learn more about cutting-edge research findings and how these can be used in your work.

You may be working in:

  • A school
  • Social services
  • Healthcare
  • The voluntary sector
  • Or you may be considering work with children in the future.

Course requirements/assessment

There are no specific requirements for the course, although we suggest you are working with, or have an interest in working with children, or want to learn more about the effects of difficult early experiences on children’s minds and behaviours. There’s a multiple-choice question assessment at the end of the course, which unlocks a Digital Academy certificate upon completion.


Course Timings

This course runs continuously, so you can sign up at any time. It offers five hours of self-directed learning which you can undertake at a time and pace that suits you. You will have access to the course and its materials for a total of four weeks. Access begins the day after you’ve registered and paid, when you will receive login details by email.


Course facilitators

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music

Dr Graham Music (PHD) is Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and an Adult Psychotherapist in private practice. He has a particular interest in exploring the interface between developmental findings and clinical work. Formerly Associate Clinical Director of the Tavistock and Portman’s Child and Family Department, he has managed…

Register your interest

Please complete the form below and we’ll let you know as soon as this course is available for booking!

Please indicate whether you would like to join our mailing list, and receive emails about other relevant Digital Academy courses and events:

To find out how your personal data is used and your rights under the Data Protection Legislation (GDPR), please read our Privacy Policy. You can opt-out of receiving our messages at any time by clicking the unsubscribe link in our emails.


Related Courses

For a better viewing experience we recommend you upgrade your browser.